Simple Luxury: A Review of the Westin Doha Hotel and Spa

READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP

Introduction: From Cold To Hot and Checking The #1 Country Off of My Bucketlist 
• Review: Plaza Premium Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France / KLM Lounge (Toronto Airport)
• Review: Air France A350 (Business Class); Toronto – Paris
• Review: Air France A320 (Business Class); Paris – Stockholm
• Review: The Generator Hostel (Stockholm)

• Review: Norrsken Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Menzies Executive Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: American Express Lounge by Pontus (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Stockholm Arlanda Lounge (Stockholm Arlanda)
• Review: Qatar Airways A350-1000 “QSuites” (Business Class)
• Review: Four Points By Sheraton Doha
• Review: The Westin Doha Resort and Spa

Within Doha there are many luxury hotels (e.g. Mandarin Oriental, St. Regis, Ritz Carlton, Park Hyatt, etc.). I’ve stayed at a few of them over the last few years but there is something to be said about simple luxury.

Don’t get me wrong, I love experiencing “the best,” particularly when I can redeem points for a $1000/night suite but there are nice hotels in this world that are comparable in experience that cost A LOT LESS.

I only stayed one night for that unique, one-of-a-kind stay at the Four Points by Sheraton Doha and then moved to one of my personal favorite… the Westin Doha Hotel and Spa.

The Westin Doha is only 3km (~2 miles) from Souq Waqif and is not in the area where most of the hotels have been built but as the city expands, it is slowly finding itself in the middle of the action.

HOW I BOOKED IT

Again, Doha is decent when it comes to hotel prices. For example, I booked my room for QAR328/night (~$90USD). Keep this in the forefront of your mind as I review this hotel.

I arrived in my custom-painted Rolls Royce. The valet immediately approached and asked if I was checking in and insisted that he help with my luggage.

Ok, ok, my rental car is actually the white Toyota Yaris in the background but it is true that I waited less than 10 seconds before the valet approached my car.

I passed through a metal detector to enter the spacious and modern lobby and found the reception desks located in the distant corner to the left.

View of Lobby from Front Door

The hotel has various art installations through the property including this glass helix chandelier.

View of Lobby from the Reception Desk

THE SERVICE (PART 1)

I was greeted upon arriving at reception, and was able to check-in right away, despite the fact that it was well before the hotel’s check-in time.

As soon as I provided my last name, another attendant asked if I would like a cool towel and to try their “signature mint lemonade?” I obliged and the towel and drink were refreshing (just like my favorite drink in Qsuites).

The front desk attendant thanked me for my loyalty. She then informed me that the hotel had been sold out the night before for a wedding. Because of my Marriott Platinum status, I was entitled to lounge access and an upgraded room but I would have to wait, perhaps, a few hours for the room to be ready.

She further informed me that a “Deluxe Guest Room with 1 King on a low floor” was available immediately. I had stayed in this type of room before so I agreed.

She reached into a file folder on the desk, presented a set of keys that already had my name attached, stepped from behind the desk, directed me to the elevator, and insisted that I contact her if I had any questions.

THE ROOM

The hotel is built in a “L” shape and my room was located away from the hustle-and-bustle of the lobby. I used the elevator in the lobby to go to the 1st floor. At the end of the hall, I made a left into a very spacious wing of the hotel and noticed a plethora of plants and water features.

I stayed in Room 151. Generally, I prefer a high floor but given the hotel doesn’t have many floors (I believe 6), this was fine.

I spent a few minutes trying to determine how to enter my room as the door did not have a key slot. Fortunately, the housekeeper was cleaning the room next door and was able to assist.

Note: Place key against the “open” sign (similar to a fob) and it will unlock.

When you enter the spacious room, you are greeted with a panoramic view, including a glimpse of the bathroom (located to the left).

Directly to the right and a few inches off of the floor was a shoe rack, full-length mirror, and bench to sit on while putting on/taking off your shoes.

The bathroom featured a deep-soaking tub, a walk-in shower, double sinks, a partitioned off toilet, and several full-length mirrors, closets and drawers.

The shower was brand standard for a Westin. In other words, it had a rainforest showerhead, as well as a handheld one. The water pressure and temperature control were excellent.

As you’d expect, toiletries were the standard Westin brand.

The room was quite large and had a king sized bed and a large lounge chair at the foot of the bed. The Westin Hotel is known for their Heavenly Beds and it did not disappoint!

But what really impressed me throughout the room is the attention to detail. For example, the photo of the minaret and dark wood palette above the bed adds a subtle Middle Eastern vibe to the room.

Thick carpet with a beautiful design extends throughout. Despite having the curtains open for these pictures, the room featured heavy blackout curtains that blocked out the Middle Eastern sun perfectly.

In the far corner of the room was a desk with bottled water, tissues, and information about the hotel restaurants and spa.

I quickly pulled out my laptop to test the complimentary wifi and it was fast and responsive.

On the other side of the flatscreen TV, there was a beautiful cabinet with a mini fridge, in-room coffee machine and a variety of tea. For all the Brits out there, yes, there is evaporated milk for your tea!

There was a Bose stereo on the nightstand to the left side of the bed. It’s a bit dated but I did turn on the music and it provided great sound.

THE SERVICE (PART B)

Shortly after arriving in my room, the doorbell rang, and I was presented with additional bottles of water and fresh fruit. To be completely honest, I’m not sure why I received this gift (or if all guests received it) but I appreciated it a lot.

About 15 minutes after I arrived in my room, the front desk called to make sure I was happy with my room. While I didn’t call them for anything during my stay, I am sure it would have been quick and efficient.

At that point, I decided to explore the grounds since I would be staying a few days.

HEAVENLY SPA

First, I returned to the ground level to explore the Heavenly Spa.

As I continued walking down the hall towards the spa, the lights became dimmer, and the vibe more serene. Although I didn’t receive a treatment, the Westin did a great job in creating the ambiance for it.

However, the prices were a bit steep. A 30 minute back massage for QAR350 (~$100USD)? Instant glow facial for QAR350 (~$100USD)? Wow!

The Spa featured separate areas for men and women.

The gym was large but busy. I can’t say that I’ve ever seen, at any time, more than one person in any gym hotel gym. There were four treadmills, free weights, an elliptical, and a bike.

Continuing down the hall, I found a section of 8 lounge chairs (4 chairs on either side.

The Spa also had two small indoor pools and jacuzzi.

The hotel had a set indoor racketball courts. I actually watched a match for about 15 minutes and somehow forgot to take a photo.

Stepping just beyond the racketball courts and out of the backdoor, I encountered a wave pool. Yes, they created a beach with real sand and waves at the hotel.

There is also a very large outdoor infinity pool. At the time that I took the picture there were a several people in the pool so I did obtain a closeup but this is a beautiful pool with ample amount of seats around it.

Additionally, there were various areas throughout the property where I noticed the hotel had installed “chill spaces.” For example…

FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT

The Westin has several restaurants:

1) Seasonal Tastes – This restaurant showcased the freshest products and ingredients and offered local favorites, Asian specialties and popular international fare.

2) Hunter’s Room and Grill – This restaurant was an upscale (but contemporary) grill house.

3) Sabai Thai – This restaurant offered authentic Royal Thai cuisine fused with a modern twist.

I had heard great things about Sabai Thai restaurant. When I entered there was a Thai woman playing a traditional Thai instrument that sounded angelic.

Unfortunately, I was going to be in Doha for a limited amount of time and I had breakfast, lunch, and dinner scheduled with different friends everyday so, I ordered something small and my favorite Thai dessert of Mango Sticky Rice. It was probably the best I’ve ever had!! The mango was really ripe and the coconut sauce was not overpowering with sweetness.

The variety of food was top notch, the quality was excellent, and there just seemed to be a lot of effort put into the presentation, which I certainly appreciate. Furthermore, service in the restaurant was excellent, with frequent coffee refills, and plates quickly being cleared.

There was also a cafe just off the lobby level that offered coffee and pastry options.

The hotels executive lounge is located on the 1st floor (near my room) and I wanted to visit it because…well, they offer free food and I’m a big fan of free food.

On the way from the ground level to the Executive Lounge, I stumbled across the “Mix Bar and Lounge”.

I found the information on the desk very interesting. The first point says “Valid ID Card (Qatar Residence) or passport must be presented upon entry” and the third point from the bottom says “Qatari women are NOT allowed to enter.” That’s an interesting way to Mix, yeah?

Anyway, next to Mix is the Westin Club. Upon entering, I was greeted by a reception agent that quickly typed my name in the computer and verified my Platinum status.

The lounge was a beautiful space with various seating options including large sofas, single lounge chairs, and dining tables.

A set of computers were available for surfing the internet, completing business or printing boarding passes.

The lounge offered various soft drinks, and still and sparkling water.

The club lounge offered food throughout the day. They have a great breakfast, lunch with salads, sandwiches and light bites.

The evening food selection is again salads, light bites and hot dishes, but usually with a mix of warm salmon fillets, chicken and beef options.

Happy hour is from 6 to 8 PM and includes beer, wines including sparkling and a selection of spirits.

If you have a sweet tooth, do not forget to stop by the “sweets table.” They are small so you can try everything.

THE DETAILS

After exploring the club, I returned to my room. One aspect that I love about this well designed room are the many upscale features and attention to detail. For example, just inside the bathroom door were buttons that…

…controlled the vanity lights…

…raised/lowered the bathroom wooden blinds…

…and closed the bathroom barn door…

On the wall opposite those controls was a control panel than allowed you to control the volume of the TV in the bathroom. In other words, you could be in the shower and still listen to the TV through the speakers in the bathroom.

In the area where the toilet was located, there was a photo of falcon which recognizes the importance of falconry in their tradition and culture. 

Additionally, there was a control panel just before reaching the bed that allowed you to control the temperature, dictate which lights you wanted to turn on/off, alert housekeeping not to disturb…

…or produce a romantic setting.

As I said in a previous post, I had forgotten my international adaptors and found there were plenty of international plugs for all your devices in this rooms so that was another plus.

FINAL STAMP

Overall, I really enjoyed my stay. This is one of my favorite hotels in the world and typically my go-to in Doha. The pools are huge, the service is top-notch, the attention to detail is on par with hotels and that cost 10x more.

I trust I would’ve loved the upgraded room but I appreciate that the front desk receptionist acknowledged my status and presented the options. I also wanted to stay in (and review) the “basic room” because that is the room most readers will experience.

Again, the service throughout the hotel was consistently attentive and friendly, and the food was excellent. The club lounge was a beautiful space but I wish I would’ve had more time to explore the menus of the other restaurants.

This is nit-picky but the only challenge that I had was in the bedroom. The lights are somehow on a motion detector. When all of the lights are off and you get out of bed at night, very dim lights around the bed (and in the bathroom) automatically come on so you can see. It’s a great idea but they took a few minutes to go off. One time I flipped from one side of the bed to the other, without touching the ground, and the lights came on and I just wanted them to go off.

Although it wasn’t a drawback or me, the hotel is not in an “ideal” location. Would I rather be in a hotel where I can walk out of the door and, literally, be standing in the Souq Waqif or within steps of the Doha corniche? Perhaps. But I also enjoy peace and tranquility and this hotel offers exactly that and is only a short distance from those locations.

I may try another hotel next time I go to Dohajust for the purposes of reviewing something else, but I’d certainly recommend this hotel to any anyone traveling to Doha. It’s a great option!

For dinner with my friends, I decided to take my Bentley rental out for a cruise and….hahaha

Have you stayed at a Westin? What was your experience?

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